Nigerian president apologises for sacking vice-chancellors

Muhammadu Buhari concedes he overreached his authority when he replaced university boards

April 5, 2016
Lagos, Nigeria
Source: iStock
Lagos, Nigeria

Nigeria’s president has apologised for sacking the governing bodies and vice-chancellors of 13 universities, after it emerged that he had overreached his authority.

Muhammadu Buhari faced widespread criticism in February when he ordered the creation of new leadership teams for the National Open University of Nigeria and 12 federal universities that were established by his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan.

Many of the new vice-chancellors were “friends and cronies” of the president, Nigeria’s Coalition of Civil Society Groups said.

The Nigerian government has now rescinded the dissolution of the governing bodies, after learning that they were the only people with the power to appoint vice-chancellors, Lagos’s Vanguard newspaper reported.

The governing bodies will be tasked with appointing new vice-chancellors, the newspaper said.

However, the ruling is not expected to mean that the old vice-chancellors will get their jobs back. As reported at the time, the contracts of nine of the university leaders had expired and were simply not renewed.

Speaking in Abuja, Mr Buhari asked university leaders to “bear with us as we reflect on where we found ourselves”.

“We gave a blanket order which we had to rescind when we said all boards are suspended or dissolved,” Mr Buhari was quoted as saying. “We had to go back and lick our vomit in terms of university boards because we found out that according to their laws, they cannot choose vice-chancellors unless the boards sit down [and] interview prospective candidates who wants to be v-cs.

“So, there is nothing wrong in saying sorry and going back on your decision.”

The CCSG had described Mr Buhari’s original decision as “a gross violation of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which guarantees universities’ autonomy”.

chris.havergal@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Reader's comments (1)

Corruption and mismanagement are every where in Africa. and Mr. President is right when apologize, against his wrong doing , we are in needs of such presidents in Africa.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Daniel Mitchell illustration (29 June 2017)

Academics who think they can do the work of professional staff better than professional staff themselves are not showing the kind of respect they expect from others

celebrate, cheer, tef results

Emilie Murphy calls on those who challenged the teaching excellence framework methodology in the past to stop sharing their university ratings with pride

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

Senior academics at Teesside University put at risk of redundancy as summer break gets under way

Tef, results, gold, silver, bronze, teaching excellence framework

The results of the 2017 teaching excellence framework in full. Find out which universities were awarded gold, silver or bronze